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Tillerson's Russia Visit Not the Meeting Either Side Planned: Analysis

The Kremlin wants to know if the Syria strike was a one-time intervention or if it signals a deeper involvement by Washington

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    Before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his first diplomatic trip to Russia as tensions between the two countries increase, he blasted the country for its ties to the Syrian president.

    "It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime," Tillerson said in Italy at the G-7 summit, before heading to Moscow.

    (Published Tuesday, April 11, 2017)

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to meet for he first time with his Russian counterpart in Moscow Tuesday evening, NBC News reported. And as the dust settles on the U.S. missile strike on Syria, the meeting won't be the encounter either side had planned.

    Tillerson hoped to discuss Ukraine, NATO, Iran, Syria and better U.S.-Russia relations, but sarin gas, dead children and missiles are now on the table instead. 

    The top U.S. diplomat and Sergei Lavrov will likely talk about what comes next for the two countries. The Kremlin wants to know if the strike was a one-time intervention or if it signals a deeper involvement by Washington.

    Moscow has said Washington lacks a strategy in Syria, though Tillerson is expected to propose that Russia change its own strategy and drop support for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

    Haley Has Harsh Words For Russia on Syria Chemical Attack

    [NATL] 'Russia Cannot Escape Responsibility': Haley on Syria Chemical Attack

    U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley heads the U.N. in April, as the rotating position of president falls to the United States. The April 5 meeting comes after what strongly appears to be a deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria. 

    While staunch ally Russia defended the regime of Bashar Assad, Haley directed stinging criticism at Russia. “If Russia had been fulfilling its responsibly, there would not even be any chemical weapons left for the Syrian regime to use," she said.

    (Published Wednesday, April 5, 2017)